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by Virginia Woolf

Orlando Marriage Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Chapter.Paragraph)

Quote #1

To take them in order; Clorinda was a sweet-mannered gentle lady enough;--indeed Orlando was greatly taken with her for six months and a half; but she had white eyelashes and could not bear the sight of blood. […]

Favilla, who comes next, was of a different sort altogether. She was the daughter of a poor Somersetshire gentleman. […] Once, however, she was so ill-advised as to whip a spaniel that had torn one of her silk stockings (and it must be said in justice that Favilla had few stockings and those for the most part of drugget) within an inch of its life beneath Orlando's window. Orlando, who was a passionate lover of animals, now noticed that her teeth were crooked, and the two front turned inward, which, he said, is a sure sign of a perverse and cruel disposition in women, and so broke the engagement that very night for ever. (1.22 – 1.23)

Orlando will sever his engagements on the slightest of provocations, which makes us think that a) he has no real interest in getting married, and b) getting his heart broken by Sasha was karma coming back to bite him.

Quote #2

As for his marriage to the Lady Margaret, fixed though it was for this day sennight, the thing was so palpably absurd that he scarcely gave it a thought. Her kinsmen would abuse him for deserting a great lady; his friends would deride him for ruining the finest career in the world for a Cossack woman and a waste of snow--it weighed not a straw in the balance compared with Sasha herself. (1.43)

At this point in his life, Orlando doesn’t respect the sanctity of marriage.

Quote #3

But at length they came upon a document of far greater significance. It was nothing less, indeed, than a deed of marriage, drawn up, signed, and witnessed between his Lordship, Orlando, Knight of the Garter, etc., etc., etc., and Rosina Pepita, a dancer, father unknown, but reputed a gipsy, mother also unknown but reputed a seller of old iron in the market-place over against the Galata Bridge. The secretaries looked at each other in dismay. (3.12)

Orlando’s marriage to Rosina Pepita is completely unexpected and socially unsuitable. Perhaps it reflects his affinity for the lower classes.

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